What makes a job good?

Employment quality is a puzzle with many different pieces. Solving it takes more than decent pay and benefits. It takes job security, autonomy, a stable work schedule, and a safe and supportive work environment.

These are just a few of the findings from a new study by the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois. The study surveyed over 3,500 workers across Illinois to figure out what matters most for how they rate their overall employment situation.

See how different job features influence employment quality by clicking on the sliders and buttons below. You can also read more about the study findings and methodology, or compare the quality of jobs held by different groups of workers.

Employment Quality Calculator



Total number of vacation and personal days per year

Work hours & scheduling


Job security & opportunity

Not at all secureModerately secureExtremely secure
Not at all likelyModerately likelyExtremely

Work environment

Not at allA moderate amountA great deal
Survey question asks: "How much freedom do you have to decide how to do your own work?
None at allA moderate amountA great deal

Read our findings

What else makes a job good? How do different pieces of the employment quality puzzle fit together?

Compare worker groups in Illinois

How does job quality compare for different groups of workers in Illinois? See job characteristics broken down by gender, race, age, industry, and other groups.


How was this research conducted? What do the numbers represent?